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The Old Navy Issue: What Did You Think?

30 September 2010 27 Comments

You probably heard about the Old Navy issue that was all over mom blogs and Facebook last week. A onesie with the words “Formula Powered” upset many mothers as they felt it was anti-breastfeeding. Now a new blog on YummyMummy.ca has gone up entitled “I’m boycotting the boycott.

The same week, formula in the United States was recalled making for lots of opportunity for more *spicy* discussion back and forth between breastfeeding and bottlefeeding mothers.

I nursed and bottle-fed my children and while I would like to see more acceptance and resources for nursing moms, I think that there is a growing movement that is making moms who use formula feel guilty. Breast is best, but can leave room for moms to do whatever is best for their situation?

I want to know what you thoughts. Did you find the onesie upsetting? What were your thoughts?

photo from yummymummy.ca

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  • Karen said:

    I thought it was cute! Both my kids were breast fed for less than 2 months before switching exclusively to formula. I think that people who are offended are overreacting. ALL moms are aware of the benefits of breast feeding anyway- the shirt isn’t meant to “take sides”. I don’t think Old Navy did or didn’t do anything on purpose. I love Old Navy for my kids clothes (5 yo girl & 5 month old boy)- they are affordable & trendy. It’s just a shirt!!

  • Tammy said:

    I think it’s cute. Read into anything too much and you can find debate and conflict. I don’t see how this is any more offensive than a “boob man” onsie. Whether your breastfeed or formula feed, it doesn’t dictate who you are as a mother. I BF my oldest until he was 6 months, then moved to formula as I struggled to nurse that long. The unnecessary glares and comments made me feel like a horrible mother. Now breastfeeding my 9 month old, I get asked when I plan to stop. You can’t win. We, as mother/parents, do what is best for our children and family. Be it bottle or boob, it’s for them to decide.

  • chrystal said:

    This reminds me of a hot topic article of clothing where i am from. Many Native Americans often where a hat or a shirt that says ” Native Pride” Comparing this to an article of clothing that says “hey I breastfeed” great! you are proud of who you are and or what you do.
    Now if someone where to wear a shirt that says “White pride?” Same Idea although it would be taken as offensive, why?
    People are way to afraid to afraid to sway from the politically correct. Formula fed? Breast Fed? who cares. Healthy baby? thats what I want to know.

  • Kristen said:

    This is the only onesie I have ever seen that talks about formula feeding!! I have maybe 5 saying “Hurray for Boobies” and other breastfeeding puns. Some people just need to take a chill pill. My youngest is turning 8 months old on Saturday and I just finished weaning him. Be damned if someone said anything to me if I bought this onesie for him (which I am considering because it is so darn cute). Now 2 weeks ago when I decided to wean I was a basket case of emotions. I felt pretty bad, not so much that he would be on forumla but more that I was quitting. To top it off I had the breast is best comments and how bad formula was spewed at me left right and centre. I think to each their own, whether you nurse or bottle feed, formula or breast milk, we should be supportive of each other. After all we are mothers who share the same passion, our children. Raise yours how you want but be supportive of others and their decisions!!!

  • Maella Colas said:

    I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s adorable! I don’t think the makers of this onesie are trying to bash breastfeeding or say that formula is best.
    I also have to say that formula-feeding moms are underrepresented, and at times, even judged. Sure, there is a lot of breastfeeding support out there, but it doesn’t work out for everyone. I exclusively breastfed my daughter for 2 months, then I supplemented her with formula, and soon after, I started formula-feeding her exclusively. I’m aware of how good breastfeeding is, but formula suits my lifestyle best right now. Maybe with my next children I can breastfeed for longer.

  • Ashley P said:

    I think is cute and non offensive. I would like for there to be a nursing version too. Maybe Mama’s milk powered or maybe just bottle powered. Nursing mothers pump and bottle feed.

  • Melissa said:

    I think it is cute….they make onsies for breast fed babies why not formula babies. I gave my son both and every situation is different some women can’t breast feed for medical purposes and should not be made to feel quilty about it. We all raise our children differently and should not judge someone else for their choices.

  • jen said:

    I had a hard time breast feeding my son, I tried for a month and gave up… I had such guilt, they say ” your not going to bond as well” .. then for my daughted 2 years later I never gave up and nursed her until she was 9 months old.. do I fell a stronger bond? I don’t think so. I think you have to do what is right for you at the time :)
    I do think if someone put that on their baby they would get funny looks because when a mom puts on a shirt for a nursed baby she is so proud of the “work” she is doing.

    also the same thing as Tammy says you struggle to get a good latch and keep on the BFing then at 9 months people are like “when are you going to stop that?” so frustrating

  • Clare said:

    It’s cute. What is wrong with formula if you can’t BF?? Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to. My oldest was on both and my second may have to be as she doesn’t always seem to get enough from me. There are actually studies out there that claim that BF may not actually be as healthy as we think as breast milk contains toxins that are in the mother (someone needs to play devil’s advocate, no?)

  • Lori said:

    I think it’s a cute shirt – and I will leave it at that. There is no more ammunition that needs to be added to the fiery debate of breastmilk vs. formula and so for this reason, it should be left alone!

    I agree with many of the other comments though about people constantly questioning when you are going to ‘get the kid off the boob’ I hear it a lot and I am still BF my 14 month old. She loves boob. For real, Her onesie would be ‘addicted to boob’ Haha. So, you can’t win!

    Each Mom knows what’s right for their babe!

  • Minna said:

    I think the onesie is cute! Why not create one that’s one for breast feed babies? I don’t know why this debate keeps coming up. We all know the benefits of breastfeeding. It’s a fact that it’s better. But I feel it what ever fits your situation that counts. So what if moms are breastfeeding or bottle feeding. As long as their baby is healthy and happy.

  • Leslie said:

    So many people overreact. It is only a shirt. I bet if it said breastfed powered no one would think otherwise. It is true it can be hard to breastfeed. I myself have done both withh all my children. I find a lot of people assume you should or are breast feeding. It shouldnt matter. It should be what is right for mommy and baby. Happy and heathly is way more important. People need to wake up and deal with real issues in this world. Perhaps, like equality or rascism, not something as silly as to how your child is being fed.

    Does it really matter when we all went to school or aged. Who really cares or asks then about if you were breastfed or bottle fed. NO ONE!!!!

  • Melanie said:

    I agree with the posts above – people need to relax!! There’s TONS of bf onesies out there, it’s nice to have one for the moms who may have tried everything and can’t bf (eg. dairy allergy!) – not their fault!

  • Cherry said:

    Agreed. It’s a shirt. Relax people.
    I feel lucky have been able to successfully breastfeed so far. I say so far because I am going back to work very soon. Who knows what I’ll be able to do when we hit the next growth spurt. We supplemented in the beginning because she was tiny and I couldn’t relax to let down well. Plus, how many of us were formula fed? Most of us I’m sure.

  • Charlene said:

    I breastfed all 3 of my children, with some degree of difficulty in the beginning for all of them (especially my last). But we worked it out as I was determined to do it and LOVE breastfeeding. My youngest, our only boy, wore a black onesie that said “Boobaholic – the first step is admitting it”. It was adorable. And I just stopped nursing him at 14 and 1/2 months. I never had anyone ask me when I’d stop, though I am surrounded by a great support system. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this onesie. I am all about TO EACH THEIR OWN. My issue is simply with Old Navy. I am trying to really pay attention where I get things from, where and how they’re made, and what kind of company they are….particularly behind the scenes. Here are a couple articles of interest, if anyone so desires.



  • Kristi Kocherkewych said:

    I thought the onesie was cute!!
    I think all moms know that breastmilk is the best for their babies and even formula companies will say that too but if you can’t breastfeed your baby or other circumstances come about that prevent you from breastfeeding then I think moms shouldn’t be made to feel guilty as we know all too well that us mommies are very good at finding ways to feel guilty in regards to our children: E.G. “I didn’t do “!!. My son is 10.5 months old now and I’m still breastfeeding him (and feeding solid foods) but that is my choice and breastfeeding came really easy for us right from day 1. I planned on breastfeeding for at least 1 year but found out in August that our son has some food allergies, including one to milk, so my choices are either breastfeed, or soy milk or soy formula (the latter has more nutrients that the soy milk the Allergist told me). So, I think I will chose breastmilk a bit longer then switch to either soy milk or soy formula when I need too; I also love the bond and closeness I feel with my son breastfeeding him but the moms that bottlefeed their babies formula are still feeling that same bond. When I have a 2nd baby I will choose to breastfeed again but if for some reason I can’t then I’d like to think that giving my baby formula wouldn’t make me a bad mom or care less for him/her.

  • Chrissy said:

    I don’t feel that the onesie is offensive at all. I am a breastfeeding advocate, but I also had to use a bit of formula for Little One when she was in the NICU and a bit after she was discharged from the hospital. I felt a huge amount of guilt and that there was something awful or bad about me having to supplement her breast milk with formula. Friends who strictly breastfed would tell me, “My baby never took a bottle!” or “I would never give my baby a bottle!”. You know what? Kudos to them. It’s wonderful to have done that, but to make others feel badly about having to do both or go the formula route is only adding to whatever stresses they may already have.

    For some mothers, formula feeding is not a simple “choice”, but the only option. Sometimes there may be a health issue involved, or some babies won’t nurse or have difficulty. I have a friend whose baby wouldn’t latch. The fact that she couldn’t nurse her baby really tore her apart. Instead of attacking women who don’t nurse, we should be supporting them. Isn’t that what Moms do? Support each other?

    I think the onesie is cute. I also think the breast feeding onesies are cute. If one stopped to think for a moment, the breast feeding onesies could equally be seen as offensive to those who don’t nurse. No?

  • sarah, hannah & little thumper said:

    it’s adorable! there are so many onesies and tees for babies that are breastfed – ones geared towards formula-fed little ones are few and far between! it’s ridiculous that moms would get hyped up & waste energy on something so petty :)

  • Shairbearg said:

    Personally I bfed my older boys until they started biting me so much I was bleeding or too stressed out that I was sick to my tummy and not eating. I pumped until the milk supply ran out and then they were formula fed. This one is being more cooperative. I think the formula fed onsie is cute! I think it’s sad in a world of inclusion and tolerance, we guilt mother’s for everything they do.

    I know Mommy’s who have had to give up nursing, or couldn’t nurse for any number of reasons. I’ve seen all kinds of shirts about nursing babies, and I think it’s cute that Old Navy included a formula fed one for babies who aren’t breast fed.

  • Sue said:

    i think it is time for those moms that have nothing better to do then complain about one shirt out of all the shirts old navy sells to find something better to do. There are so much more wrong with this world this writing a pro formula saying on a shirt. Bottled feeding moms dont go crazy when a company writes Brest fed comments. Get over it, spend your time helping end child hungry in the world instead of complaining how others might feed their baby and dress their baby.

  • Cassandra said:

    I find it cute. I would wear it on my child if i wasn’t able to breastfeed.

  • Janice said:

    I breastfed exclusively for the first few months, then half and half and finally soley on formula. There is no worse feeling in the world than not having enough food to feed your child. I was fine for a while, but after having a 10 lb child, I just couldn’t keep up. I was thankful for having formula to supplement, but it doesn’t make the feeling of failure go away. Hearing so-called ‘lactivists’ proclaim that only the breast is good enough and anyone else doing anything different is wrong only cements that feeling. My son is now more than two years old. Even now I still feel a twinge of pain. But I know that I did all I could to help him along.
    Why didn’t they have two shirts… one for breastfed babies and one for formula – if of course, they felt the need to sell a onesie with the ‘Formula Powered’ slogan…?

  • Jen said:

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. Like a few people have mentioned, there’s onsies for breast fed babies all the time. Do the mothers who feed their babies formula make a big deal out of that? No. I gave my first son both and have only breast fed my second. I’m not offended by the Old Navy onsie and I don’t think anyone should be. Formula fed babies are a reality, not every wee bab can breast feed. Why make such a big deal over a shirt when there’s formula advertisements all the time and no one says anything.Everyone should stop complaining and just enjoy the time with their little ones. Time flies, don’t waste it on something so petty :)

  • Crystal said:

    I never formula fed either of my babies, and I take pride in that. However I realize that some people it is NOT a choice they wanted to make. However even if you make the choice to formula feed that is YOUR choice, it is not as if you were not feeding your child at all.

    I think formula moms are just entitled to the power of speech as breastfeeding moms!

  • Felicia said:

    I think this onsie is cute! I only formula fed my 8 month son, and I have recieved other peoples oppinions stating that I’m not a good mom and will not bond with my baby as much as they have because of not breastfeeding. I have understand that breast can be best, I’ve done my research. However I was uncomfortable with the idea of breastfeeding, and I feel that my husband needs to bond/feed our child as well. My son is perfectly heathy and developing on schedule. My son and I have a perfectly healthy mother, son bond. I feel there is no difference between mt bond with my son and between mothers and babies who breastfed. I believe that us as mothers need to support each other with all our decisions there should be no reason why we are putting down our motherly skills just because of differenly feeding styles. Because then there is the topic of homemade baby food and ready made baby food in jars. We need to respect other peoples decisions.

  • B's Mom said:

    Seriously? Why are parents so critical of what other parents do? It’s none of their business whether one mother chooses to breastfeed and another one chooses formula, and lots of times it’s not even a choice. Mothers should support one another and not criticize or judge. It’s their child and they can bring them up the way they want to. The onesie is so cute and should be left at that…why blow it up to such a big issue?

  • cfranic said:

    It’s just a onsie!!!! Jesus!! And with all the pressure your under to breastfeed it’s cute for us mom’s who formula feed. I know i was pressured to beastfeed both mine in the hospital. My second who is now 4 months old, was in a NICU clinging for his life and the lactation consultant was lecturing me about breatfeeding. LEAVE ME ALONE! frig. so i pumped etc . Turns out he was a severe milk and soy protein intolerance so we are using neonate and specially made formula.

    Some people who breastfeed are so pushy about it. I have been stopped in a grocery store while looking at formula and told about breastfeeding I have also been attacked i call it while feeding my little girl out of a bottle at a mall!. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I have never stopped a woman breastfeeding and told her to formula feed!! Some breast feeders are too pushy.

    And honestly if you have nothing better to do than try to get a company to stop making this shirt you have issues. Our food banks are empty and families are starving, why dont you harvest your wasted energy on trying to fill the food banks rather than worrying about a stupid onsie!!

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